“Odysseo is a journey, where men and horses go to conquer the world. And, we bring the audience fondly to paradise,” explains Normand Latourelle, creator of Cavalia’s ODYSSEO.
I was ecstatic when I found out I was going to see Cavalia’s Odysseo. Why? First off, the colorful billboards are intriguing. Secondly, the towering, 10-story Big White Top and four additional tents creating the Odysseo village on Front Street offers a mysterious element to downtown Burbank. More importantly, I knew that Normand Latourelle, one of the masterminds behind Cirque du Soleil had created what many are calling a “magical feat” under a Big White Top. My hunch was correct! This creative genius has indeed “pushed the limits,” creating a magnificent, inspiring family-friendly show!
For creator Normand Latourelle, Cavalia’s Odysseo demonstrates the amazing bond between horses and humans through a stunning, nonstop theatrical performance under a luxurious, 10-story White Big Top. I truly sat in awe, watching 67 male horses of 11 different breeds, along with 44 international artists. Unlike most circus big tops, Odysseo’s White Big Top features top-notch IMAX-like projection screens, high-tech sound and special effects.
“We have pushed the limits of what technology could give us,” says Normand Latourelle. He adds, “We have projection that is 2D-HD, almost 3D definition images.” From the Northern Skies to the Sahara Dessert, to the Grand Canyon, the projection screens illuminate every visually-stunning location where the horses and riders roam. Brilliantly-mesmerizing choreography showcases riders performing a profusion of jumps, tricks, dressage, and liberty among the many equestrian techniques. “This is the most beautiful animal on earth,” Latourelle says of his fondness toward horses. “You can’t find any animal nicer than that on earth.”
He says that when creating this show back in 2003, he studied the history of horses and compared it to the creation of humanity. “When you dig a little, you find out that the history of the horses is also the history of humanity,” Latourelle says. He adds, “So, it’s very inspiring to create a show based on that history,” says Odysseo creator and producer.
In Cirque du Soleil fashion, aerialists seemingly dangle from the air in numerous daring poses using various poles. Stilt walkers and acrobats from Guinea execute amazing stunts similar to- and with horses! Another entrancing, creative feat was the incorporation of a real carousel, featuring vocalist Anna-Laura Edmiston, serenading a troupe of ballerinas performing contortionist-like moves on rotating poles. The movement was both beautiful and breathtaking!
One of the most incredible special effects demonstrations takes place against a waterfall backdrop when 80,000 gallons of water is released to create a lake in the middle of the stage. Within the same serene moment, horses gallop in the lake and surround their friend, French rider Elise Verdoncq.
“When you’re on the horse, you feel every movement of the horse – even their heartbeat,” Verdoncq says. The horse trainer adds, “You need to remember to take care of them every day. Horses are not toys that you can put down and walk away from. You need to be there for them every day!” By the way, the water is recycled for the next show!
Cavalia’s Odysseo runs now through March 24. Tickets start at $34.50 with $154-and up Rendez-Vous VIP packages that include prime seating, dinner before the show, open bar, dessert at intermission, photo opportunity with artists, and tour of Cavalia’s Odysseo stables. Purchase tickets online at www.cavalia.net or by calling 1-866-999-8111. Downtown Burbank, 777 N. Front St., Burbank, CA 91502.
– That’s IT Mom Penny
Follow Cavalia’s Odysseo on Twitter @Cavalia
That’s IT Mommy spoke to Normand Latourelle, creator of Cavalia’s ODYSSEO. When asked about his vision for Odysseo, Latourelle had this to say:
* We did not receive monetary compensation for this review. That’s IT Mommy attended a media preview of Cavalia to facilitate this review. This will in no way sway our opinion of the product or service. The review is in our own words and is our opinion. Your results and opinions may differ.